2022-2023 NBA Championship odds, best bets, more

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Ben Simmons and the Nets are NBA championship contenders
Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons (10) points during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Monday, Oct. 3, 2022, in New York.
AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson

The 2022-23 NBA season is underway with preseason games starting up last night. 

The Golden State Warriors will look to defend last season’s title, while many of their former challengers, like the 76ers, Celtics, and Nets have brought back the same core to try to wrestle the title away. Returning stars like Kawhi Leonard, Ben Simmons, and Jamal Murray may shift the balance of power, but, for now, the NBA Championship runs through Northern California. 

However, there has also been some drama at the top in the offseason. Kevin Durant requested a trade and then seemingly revoked that, and Celtics head coach Ime Udoka is under investigation for an allegedly improper relationship with a female staff member that may have included sexual assault. 

We’ll try to parse through all of that news and give you a rundown of the current betting favorites, according to Las Vegas, along with some dark horse picks we think could give you a solid return on your investment. With the season starting soon, now is the time to pounce on some of these enticing NBA futures odds. 

Preseason NBA Championship Odds


The Celtics (+600) are the current betting favorite despite the aforementioned off-court issues. They advanced to the NBA Finals last season and then added Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari. Unfortunately, Gallinari suffered a torn ACL during the summer and is out for the entire 2022-23 season, but adding Brogdon to a team that includes Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and Robert Williams keeps the Celtics at the top of this discussion. They have tremendous depth, which has served them well in the past and will likely do so again this year, provided they can find the right person to steer the ship.

The Bucks (+650) come in as a close second right now. The Bucks were the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference last season but lost Khris Middleton in the middle of their playoff run and still managed to take the Celtics to seven games. Losing Middleton is not something we should brush aside since he’s averaged 20 points a game in three straight seasons and is a strong defender. impacted Milwaukee big time in the 2022 NBA Playoffs. We’re talking about a 20-point scorer with three-and-D capabilities. Middleton, Jrue Holiday, and Giannis Antetokounmpo are a pretty elite trio that keep Milwaukee in the title conversation. 

The Clippers (+700) come in next in Vegas’ current odds. It makes sense considering Kawhi Leonard should be back in 2022-23 to join Paul George, Norman Powell, and Reggie Jackson. The potential of a team led by Leonard and George is clear, but George has also proven that he might be able to carry the load if Leonard goes down. That means this bet, and the Clippers’ title hopes, rest on the health and production of Leonard, which will always make them a bit of a risky bet. 

Especially since you can get the Warriors (+700) at the same odds right now. It’s hard to bet against the defending champs even if the losses of Otto Porter Jr. and Gary Payton II can hurt their depth. Adding Donte DiVincenzo and JaMychal Green to Jonathan Kuminga should help round out their bench and as long as Stephen Curry continues to play like Stephen Curry then any team with him Andrew Wiggins, Klay Thompson, and Jordan Poole needs to be treated as a favorite to win the title, which makes them the best bet for right now.


The Nets (+700) also need to be mentioned since they also have the same odds as the Warriors and Clippers. We’ve covered their offseason extensively, but we all know that a trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons should be enough to keep the Nets in the title conversation. We all know that all three of them have had major off-court concerns over the years from asking for trades, refusing to practice, and many other pieces of drama that have made the news. A bet on the Nets is a bet on all of that going away for a full season, which could be tough to predict. 

The Suns (+1000) made the NBA Finals in 2021 and were the number one seed in the Western Conference in 2022 before an injury to Devin Booker derailed their playoff hopes. But they matched Indiana’s offer sheet to DeAndre Ayton, which means Booker, Ayton, Chris Paul, Mikail Bridges, Jae Crowder, and company will be back for another season together. Given their past success, I’m not sure how we can’t consider them as a title contender.  

The 76ers (+1600) remain a contender due to the pairing of James Harden and Joel Embiid, but they would likely need another piece here to truly take their chances to a more realistic level. Harden did take a major pay cut to remain with the team and, ostensibly, allow them to sign a third star, which would be helpful because the additions of De’Anthony Melton, P.J. Tucker, and Danuel House are nice, but perhaps not enough to make this team a legit NBA championship contender. 

Dark Horses

The Clippers are a betting favorite because Kawhi Leonard is returning, but in the 2020 NBA Playoffs the Clippers, with Kawhi, lost to the Nuggets (+2000). The Nuggets had a tremendous dup of Jamal Murry and two-time reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic that season, but now Murray is returning after missing all of last year and joining Jokic and Michael Porter Jr., who also missed last year with an injury. Add Aaron Gordon, Kentavious Caldwell-Cope, DeAndre Jordan, Bones Hyland, and Ish Smith and you have a pretty intriguing dark horse contender – if they all stay healthy. 

The Cavs (+3300) are now one of the most-talented overall teams in the NBA after they added Donovan Mitchell to a core that includes Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, Caris LeVert, and NBA Rookie of the Year runner-up Evan Mobley. They might not have the depth to truly compete, but their starting lineup can match up with most teams. 

We also need to mention Minnesota (+3300) now that Karl-Anthony Towns will team up with Rudy Gobert to form a Towers of Power for a Timberwolves team that won 46 games a season ago. A core of Towns, Gobert, Anthony Edwards, and D’Angelo Russell could be tremendous or could completely fail to gel, but that these odds, it’s an intriguing bet. 

For more NBA coverage like this NBA championship odds article, visit amNY Sports

Kawhi Leonard makes the Clippers an NBA championship contenders
Los Angeles Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard (2) draws a foul from Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard, behind, during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game, Monday, Oct. 3, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/ John Froschauer)